KNOXVILLE, Tennessee: John Petty hit three critical 3-pointers and finished with 19 points, leading Alabama to a stunning victory over 7th Tennessee 71-63 on Saturday night.
The Crimson Tide (7-3, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) turned a one point lead at halftime into a double-digit advantage halfway through Pettys’ second line of 3s and two other brands at long range from Joshua Primo.
Primo and Herbert Jones finished with 11 points and Jahvon Quinerly scored 10.
Tennessee (7-1, 1-1) struggled on the court the entire game, making 21 of 66 shots (32%).
Victor Bailey Jr. scored 16 points and Santiago Vescovi had 13 for the volunteers. Keon Johnson added 12 points. Yves Pons scored four blocks in the second half when Tennessee came down to single digits at the end of the game, but has never been closer to six points.
The first half was painful on both sides.
Alabama’s 31-29 lead at the break occurred with the Crimson Tide shooting 39% (12 of 31), while Tennessee struggled to shoot 33% (11 of 33). Tennessee hadn’t trailed at halftime in any game this season.
The Vols had three turnovers and two missed shots before scoring their first points, almost 3 minutes into the game.
With 8:46 left in the first half, the score stood at 14 as both teams worked to get everything going.
At the end of the first half, a few calls and non-calls angered Tennessee coach Rick Barnes. He was lively while pleading his case to officials during a time out. At the end of the stoppage of play, he was sanctioned with a technical foul. At the end of half-time, he followed the officials off the floor, continuing his rant.
Alabama: It’s still early days, but the SEC campaign is already starting to shake. The Crimson Tide will build on that game, along with quality wins over Ole Miss, Providence, and UNLV, to prepare for the next game.
Tennessee: First-year goaltender Jaden Springer, who had an impact early in the season, missed most of the game with an apparent left knee injury. How he reacts to the injury will have a lot to do with the chemistry of Road Flights.
Alabama: The Crimson Tide will be home on Tuesday to face Florida, who beat LSU on Saturday.
Tennessee: Last week, the Vols handed Missouri their first loss. On Saturday, Mizzou eliminated Arkansas from the undefeated ranks. On Wednesday, Tennessee will entertain the Razorbacks.
More AP College Basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25